Thursday, November 11, 2010

Lunch With Kings

I have always dreamed of dining at La Tour d’Argent in Paris. I read Michelin downgraded them to “only” awarding it one star, but after a recent article in Wine Spectator magazine, I really wanted to go. It was a bit of a toss-up on what was more difficult; persuading Marla there was room on our credit card for this, or actually getting the reservation. La Tour d’Argent was founded in 1582, and is said to have been frequented by Henri IV. Countless kings and queens, famous politicians, movie stars, and lesser nobility have graced its tables for years.

From the moment you enter the restaurant you encounter over seven staff people before you are EVEN seated on the 7th floor dining rooms.

The beautiful first floor rooms are a veritable museum of the restaurant’s storied past.

The views of the flying buttresses of Notre-Dame are absolutely breathtaking!

The wine cellar is truly amazing! Their cellar contains over 450,000 bottles with an estimated worth over $36,000,000! It is guarded around the clock. I admit that I was totally excited and a bit intimidated by the wine list! Some 15,000 different wines are offered. I could barely lift the almost 20 pound volume. It is said that some guests arrive two hours early just to study the wine list before dinner!

The duck is famous at La Tour d’Argent. All the ducks have been numbered since 1890; Marla received a certificate declaring hers was 1,300,000 and something.

The “Canard” certificates still look like this.

The first floor is a showcase of pictures of famous diners, old menus, and wine bottles. This “under glass display” is the table setting for Czar Alexandre II in 1867.

You can spend hours looking at pictures of past diners Princess Grace of Monaco, Presidents Kennedy, Nixon, Clinton, astronaut John Glenn and many more.

What an incredible experience! I wonder who drank this bottle of 1800 Champagne?

Life is a collection of experiences. Our lunch at La Tour d’Argent was a really memorable event that we will long remember! I love to hear stories of companies that have been able to continue after many generations. Andre Terrail has taken over as the owner of this family enterprise. In conversation I could feel his strong passion for the restaurant and know he will continue the great legacy of his father and grandfather. There are very few classic dining experiences like La Tour d’Argent anywhere in the world.

Speaking of traditions, Wesco Fabrics will celebrate 65 years in 2011! We are a third generation boutique resource of beautiful decorative fabrics, window coverings, and home furnishings for designers throughout the U.S. We will have to wait for the next generation to see if they want to add duck and fine wines to the Wesco Fabrics’ catalog. Sounds pretty good to me.

Check out the YouTube video on La Tour d’Argent on LuxeTV:

1 comment :

  1. Dick,

    Thank you for the short trip to Paris and the nice little break from work in Portland, OR! Enjoyed your article!

    A tout a l'heure!